Don't forget your pets in an emergency, plan ahead

HAVE you considered what you'll do with your pets if you need to evacuate your home during a disaster?

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Lee Johnson said all Queensland pet owners should complete a pet emergency plan as part of their disaster preparations.

"Start by checking with your local council and other agencies on the possible hazards in your area, local emergency plans and what arrangements are in place regarding temporary animal shelters in times of major emergencies or disasters," Mr Johnson said.

"It is possible you will not be able to take your pet with you if you go to a temporary evacuation shelter, so they must be secured with access to plenty of food, water, shelter and bedding.

"You may also need to relocate them prior to the incident.

"Just like we need emergency kits, so do our pets.

"Ensure it is easily accessible and includes medication, sufficient food and water for up to two weeks, bedding, toys, identification and a current photograph of each pet."

Mr Johnson said there should also be a plan in place for trained assistance dogs and less common household pets such as reptiles or even small livestock.

"In most cases, trained assistance dogs will be able to stay in emergency shelters with their owners but they may require proper identification and proof of vaccination," he said.

"You can check with your council for more information. 

"If your companion is a fish, reptile or even small livestock, you may have to put special arrangements in place ahead of an emergency situation by contacting specialist agencies such as Queensland Primary Industry and Fisheries, the RSPCA or your local pet shop or vet.

"Log on today to complete your own personalised pet emergency plan at www.getready.qld.gov.au/fact-sheets/Fact-Sheet-7-Pet-Emergency-Plan.pdf.

"If we all do a little, we'll accomplish a lot."

For further information and tips on how to Get Ready, and to register for your own personalised step-by-step plan, visit www.qld.gov.au/getready.